Hairy Larry and George plus guests
Live at Jazz Thursday, February 28, 2013
At TheArts@311 in Jonesboro, Arkansas
Three songs from Astral Weeks
06-The Way Young Lovers Do
Hairy Larry - guitar, harmonica, vocals
George - bass vocals
Mike Watson - pennywhistle
Otis and The Stringdusters
Rick Burns aka Otis - cello
Marcia Burns - viola
Tanja McKay - violin
Recorded to my Zoom H4 using a spaced pair of EV PL9 omni microphones.
Post done in SAW Classic. Encoded with Traders Little Helper.
Photos by Robin Gasaway
Realizing Your Dreams
My friend Rick Burns and I have been playing and promoting music at ASU and in Jonesboro, Arkansas, for years. When he started the Delta Blues symposium at ASU in the nineties he called on me to stage the live music portion of the symposium on Saturday afternoons.
Then last year I got to sing and play harmonica on "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens" with the Symphony and a whole gaggle of school children. And there was Rick Burns in the symphony playing cello.
Well, I started razzing him about when he was going to bring his cello out to Blues Fest and jam with us. I was a little bit surprised when he actually showed up and played. And then I started thinking.
I had the "Astral Weeks" album when it first came out in 1968 and I have sung the title track for over 40 years. When Cheryl Culp, "The Honey Lady", told me she hadn't heard it I wanted to make sure she listened to it. I dug it out and while listening I got the idea that maybe we could do some more of the songs and add flute and strings to the band for a few special performances.
On February 28 I finally realized my dream when at Jazz Thursday following The Steve Davis Trio we did "Astral Weeks", "Cypress Avenue" and "The Way Young Lovers Do". We had 3/4 of our string quartet, Otis and The Stringdusters, and Mike Watson playing the flute parts on pennywhistle. You can hear recordings of the performance here.
In the intro I discuss a little bit of the history of "Astral Weeks". You can read more about this amazing album in Wikipedia.
My dream is realized but not fulfilled. I would love to record and perform the songs with the full string quartet and with Cheryl and Zif who were unable to make this show. "The Honey Lady" and Mike "Zif" Lovell perform regularly with George and me. On these songs Zif played pedal steel at rehearsals. I do have several more performances scheduled this year and maybe sometime we will all be able to play together.
And now I have a new dream. Since all of a sudden I am working with a string quartet and since they are all enjoying the experience I thought I might score some string parts and expand our repertoire beyond "Astral Weeks".
So this is the message for all artists. Realize your dreams. It may not happen overnight and it may not always happen but it is worth the effort. And after you realize your dreams new dreams will come. Isn't life great!
Hairy Larry and George with Mike Watson plus Otis and The Stringdusters